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Questions tagged [commentaries]

Questions related to Jewish commentaries, their meaning and their origin.

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Customs/Habits around having a second child?

Besides the brit milah ceremony, pidyon haben/habat (redemption of the firstborn) or kidush peter rechem (sanctification of the womb's opening) or seder kidushat chaye hamishpacha, (ceremony of ...
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2answers
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What does the Shabbos Shel Mi mean?

In Maseches Shabbos, in between the perakim of Bameh Ishah and Bameh Beheimah, the Shabbos Shel Mi writes the following: דרשינן סמוכים פ' במה בהמה ובמה אשה כל הקרב הקרב כי לא לחנם הלך זרזיר אצל ...
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A question of theodicy

A lot of people are bothered by the fact that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Chazal answers by saying that it all averages out in the World to Come. But I don'...
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1answer
30 views

Does Messiah have to be a mere human being? [duplicate]

Based upon what or how come that Mashiach is being viewed as a human being, why can’t Mashiach be a heavenly Shaliach, messenger (angel) or divine being?
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2answers
89 views

Metatron an emanation from G-d?

What did Rabbi Simeon claimed when he said that ‘Metatron is a man in the image of G-d’, ‘an emanation from/of Him’? Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai commenting on the Zohar: “There is a perfect Man, who ...
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Three days before Matan Torah and three days of fast before Purim

Bnei Yisrael had to prepare themselves for three days before the giving of the Torah. As a parallel to this receiving of the Torah, the Jews "accepted" the Torah on Purim (kiy'mu v'kiblu). The ...
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1answer
29 views

Is there an obligatory gathering on Shabat or the Moadim?

In Devarim it is commanded to gather — Hakhel — at the end of the sabbatical year. But is there a command to gather together on (every) Shabat or the Moadim? Vayikra 23 calls such days Mikra ...
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1answer
66 views

Sforno to Tehillim 69:3

Is Sforno to Tehillim available anywhere online? I would like to know his commentary to Tehillim 69:3. Edit, I found it on http://www.hebrewbooks.org/42435 but it is published in 1586 and ...
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1answer
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English translation of R’ Bachya on Sefaria

Regarding the English translation of Rabbenu Bachya’s commentary on Chumash, how much of the English translation was uploaded to the Sefaria site? I see that the introduction to Bereshis was left ...
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1answer
95 views

Metatron referred to as YHVH Katan?

Could someone explain me the meaning of יקוק קטן as a reference to the Metatron? Why is the Metatron ‘described/entitled this way? I’ve found many writing about this online quoting Sanhedrin 38b, ...
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Elohim lower than YHWH?

The Zohar contains a reference to Elohim as lower than YHWH (vol. 1, 20a), but what does that mean? Could someone explain to me the plain meaning?
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2answers
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How can one behold the likeness of G-d, while no one did? [duplicate]

Could someone explain me the meaning of the words ‘he beholds the likeness of HaShem’ from Bamidbar 12:8 in comparison to Devarim 4:15 which states no one saw such a thing’. Because in both verses the ...
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1answer
70 views

The name Mispar

Among the many peculiar and unusual names found in Tanach, some of them have reasons and explanations for why it was given. And some do not. What about Mispar found in Ezra 2:2. אֲשֶׁר־בָּאוּ עִם־...
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2answers
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Spiritual Boredom

Because of all the routines, standard prayers, repeating cycles etc, someone told me that going to the synagogue became quite boring for him. He still saw the value of those things, but he didn’t ...
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2answers
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How to understand this Tosfos in Megila 5b

This is a Tosfos from Megilah 5b which is talking about lessening the different type of work(s) of simcha on Purim. However, I'm a bit troubled on understanding the last 6 words. What does Tosfos mean?...
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1answer
28 views

Saw the G-d of Israel? [duplicate]

In Exodus, G-d tells Moshe that "no one can see Me and live" (Exodus 33:20), but then in Exodus 24 Moses went up with Aharon, his sons, and 70 of Israel's elders, and they saw the G-d of Israel. . . . ...
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How can something contain the Presence of the Almighty?

How could a building like the Mishkan or the Beit HaMikdash, or a natural phenomenom like a cloud (at Har Sinai) contain the Presence of the Almighty (Ubiquitious, the infinite volume; omnipotent; ...
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1answer
76 views

Prohibition to eat blood [closed]

Leviticus 7:26-27 teach us about the prohibition to eat blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of the dwellings. So is one allowed to eat the blood of the fish? Is one allowed to eat blood ...
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The 62 Years of Darius/Cyrus, and the 62 Weeks of Daniel

Has ancient or medieval Jewish tradition, spanning from the Talmud to the Shulchan Aruch, ever connected these two passages from the Book of Daniel ? Daniel 5:30-31  In that night was Belshazzar ...
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Where did Moshe stand in the Tabernacle?

Where did Moshe stand when HaShem spoke to him from the Ohel Mo’ed (tent of meeting), from above the cover of the ark from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony? (Leviticus ...
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2answers
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Root of the word פרעה

The Hebrew word פרעה (Pharaoh) is probably directly derived from (a phonetic way to pronounce) the Egyptian word. But it reminded me of the Hebrew root פרע as seen in Exodus 32:25 which is actually ...
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1answer
37 views

Have known him OR to have made him known

Bereshit 18:19 starts with the words 'For I have known him (כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו)', the Sefaria website translates these words as 'For I have singled him out', Rashi as 'I know him intimately'. In line ...
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3answers
68 views

What causes a person to do Avodah Zarah?

In relation to "Definition of Avodah Zarah": I would like to know what drives or causes a person to worship Avodah Zarah in the first place; i.e. what lies at the core of it? Is there a reason why it’...
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Who wrote Ikar Siftei Chachamim?

Siftei Chachamim (שפתי חכמים) is a super-commentary on Rashi's commentary on the Torah, written by the 17th-Century CE Polish scholar Shabbethai Bass. It tends to be included in Mikraot Gedolot ...
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0answers
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קול ענות אנכי - The sound of selfishness?

When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the knowledge that his people corrupted themselves (dealt corruptly) - quickly turned aside the way which HaShem commanded them, making a molten calf, ...
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Change of the heart

In some places (like Mishlei 3:3 and 7:3) our hearts are compared to luchot (tablets) on which one should inscribe the words of HaShem. In another places our hearts should be circumcised: Devarim 10:...
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Link between rejoice and redemption

Once I found a commentary which made a wordplay, connection or link between rejoicing (גִּיל) and redemption (גָּאַל). I liked the idea that redemption and rejoicing would go hand in hand. Is there ...
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26 views

To serve, the biggest command?

Looking at the basis for our covenant with G-d, I noticed G-d said to Avraham (Bereshit 17:1): “Walk before Me”, which is sometimes understood to mean: “Serve Me”. And also (Bereshit 17:9): “You shall ...
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Evil inclination compared to a strange god within man

I've found this article which quoted some interesting thoughts: Our sages said about the verse (Shabbat 105b), “There shall not be a strange god within you, nor will you bow before a strange god.” ...
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1answer
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Three golden calfs

What are the similarities and differences between the story of the egel hazahav (golden calf) (Ki Sisa chapter 32) and the story of the two golden calves made by Jeroboam (I Melachim 12:28)?
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Our I, Our Self leading us to separation and idolatry

Looking at the words: "Anochi HaShem Eloheichem - אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ " (Shemot 20:2 & 20:5, Devarim 5:6 & 5:9)" I noticed that on the one hand HaShem emphasizes that we should serve ...
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1answer
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Three things being handed over Tablets, Torah and the Mitzvah?

HaShem tells Moshe (Shemot 24:12): וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת־לֻחֹת הָאֶבֶן וְהַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר כָּתַבְתִּי לְהוֹרֹתָם - And I will give thee the tables of stone, and the Torah and the ...
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Clarification on the Mann scattering pattern [duplicate]

Following the question on the Mann miracles I would like to understand one specific miracle: how exactly did Mann fall closer to the righteous for them than for the wicked: Did it have name tags ...
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English Translations of Major Yechezkel/Ezekiel Commentaries

Shalom! I have been looking for some time and I cannot seem to find any resources in English. Are there any translations (into English) of the Yechezkel/Ezekiel commentaries of the following rabbis? ...
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1answer
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Comparing the Heart and Luchot

I was reading in Mishlei the other day and noticed that our hearts are sometimes compared to tablets, and that on it the Words of HaShem should be inscribed. This reminded me of Yirmiyahu who states ...
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1answer
53 views

A sound of distress, while dancing around the golden calf?

After Moshe received the Aseret HaDevarim he came down from the mountain and heard a lot of noise coming from amongst the people that awaited his arrival. The people had just built a golden calf, and ...
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1answer
90 views

Will Olam Haba eventually end?

I heard a while back that according to the kabalists, there is a big dispute whether Olam Haba is forever or whether it will eventually end and all the souls will cease to exist as hinted in the verse ...
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Luchot HaBrit; first time receiving Torah passively and a second time actively

Once I read an article which talked about Exodus 31:18 and compared it with Exodus 34:1. In the first verse G-d gave the tablets (His work, His writing, 32:16), the second verse teaches Moshe needed ...
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2answers
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Can a soul be redeemed, based on Psalm 49?

Psalm 49:8: "אָח לֹא־פָדֹה יִפְדֶּה אִישׁ לֹא־יִתֵּן לֵאלֹהִים כָּפְרוֹ׃ וְיֵקַר פִּדְיוֹן נַפְשָׁם וְחָדַל לְעוֹלָם׃ וִיחִי־עוֹד לָנֶצַח לֹא יִרְאֶה הַשָּׁחַת׃ " teaches that (all the) wealth ...
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1answer
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Different words for “a corner” in Tanach

There appear to be three different words in Tanach that are translated as "a corner": Pinah (shmot 26:2) Kanaf (Shmu'el 1 24:4) Keren (I haven't found one yet, but this site says that its use as "...
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Where in the writings of the Vilna Gaon does he discuss how Rashi & Tosfot each explain a Talmudic “sugiya?”

Two days ago, I asked this question in the name of the Vilna Gaon. I was informed that the answer may be [also] found in the writings of Rav Chaim Volozhin. So, I re-phrased the question. My ...
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What were the additional 40 plagues? [duplicate]

There's an argument between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer, how many plagues there actually were in Egypt. R. Akiva says 50 and Rabbi Eliezer says 40. Do we actually know what were the additional ...
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Has anyone learned the Sheiltot of R. Achai Gaon with the Netziv's commentary?

Would you recommend it? I really enjoy learning anything with the Netziv and I like the idea of halachic midrashim on the parsha with some ethical messages. It seems like it's a great way to learn ...
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Why did the sea travelers in Yonah 1 proselytize instead of becoming righteous gentiles?

We read in Yonah 1 about the men who traveled on a boat with Yonah. When the sea ceased storming we read: "And the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they made sacrifices to the Lord and made vows."...
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Using the name יהוה [duplicate]

HaShem teaches Moshe the following in Shemot 3:15: כֹּה-תֹאמַר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב, שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם; זֶה-שְּׁמִי ...
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The usage of the title HaShem instead of other titles [duplicate]

One doesn’t pronounce יהוה, but with so many titles to be found in the Tenach for referring to יהוה, why would we refer to Him as ‘HaShem’ then? Why not stick with Adonai, Anochi, El Shadai etc. like ...
2
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1answer
82 views

List of which Rishonim wrote on each Masechta?

I would like to know if anyone has made a comprehensive list/chart of which Rishonim wrote on each masechta in shas. Such a list would include details such as: Masechtos where Rashi is not rashi, the ...
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0answers
48 views

Sources from Tanach for Praying in Minyan

I’ve got a question about people praying together. Hence from were in the Tanach, from which verse(s) or context, did the idea or concept for group/communal/collective prayer developed from? Or is ...
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Moving things around “opposite the gap” in an enclosure on Shabbat

On Shabbat there are mitigating structures whose presence can enclose an area physically, constituting a necessary ingredient in allowing movement of objects within that area. There are several ...
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1answer
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make atonement - אכפרה

Shemot 32:30 teaches us that Moshe said to the people: “You have sinned a great sin, and now I will go up unto the Lord, peradventure I shall make atonement for you.” Bereshit 32:20 Likewise teaches ...